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Best Railroad Poems

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See also: Best Famous Poems

Details | Railroad Poem | |

A Railroad Town

The diesel locomotive wailed Like a sick bull as it approached The intersection; five bellows. The dreaded traffic light turned red And all of us just sat waiting For this snail-like, slow-moving Freight train to pass, while the traffic was backing up to infinity. Life becomes a standstill in time: If your appendix burst, pray to god; If you’re in labor, tough titty; If late for work, you curse and swear! So you wait and count the freight cars... One hundred one…one hundred two… Onward west they roll Swaying, screeching, click-clanking Along rusty tracks.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Little Hole by Railroad Tracks

Many years ago walking down

railroad tracks with my old dog shep.

We always passed by this old hole

next to tracks that laid over a little

bed of water.

One day shep got to close,

and slid down toward hole,

he was stuck real tight,

I went home to get a rope,

when I got back, he was no where

to be found, after looking all over

for him, I went home and there he

was on front porch, like nothing had

happened, looking at me and wagging his

bushy tail, as I got down to his level, kisses is

what I got from this fine dog, don't know

to this day how he got home without me

seeing him, but that was shep for you.

We had many adventures, this was just one of


Written 8-7-11

This really happened in Grinnell Iowa around 1953 or 1954

Details | Railroad Poem | |


Dangerously playing on railroad tracks,
not hearing the whistle of the approaching train;
why would she be as reckless as rascals?
Dangerously playing on railroad tracks,
lining up on their thin edge small rocks...
not fearing death that can kill without pain.   
Dangerously playing on railroad tracks,
not hearing the whistle of the approaching train.

In the prime of her youth, there are no perilous thoughts...
considering her childish mind, she's taking a huge, useless risk;
has she intoxicated her young body with drugs or alcoholic drinks?
In her prime of youth, there are no perilous thoughts;
is she on a suicidal mission...shortening her unhappy days?
Why has she chosen not to live as others, who pursue a task?
In the prime of her youth, there are no perilous thoughts...
considering her childish mind, she taking a huge, useless risk.

Dangerously playing on railroad tracks,
not hearing the whistle of the approaching train;
what drives her to commit this deed of madness?
Dangerously playing on railroad tracks,
losing the perception of reality, which allows no short cuts; 
and by not appreciating life, she prefers loss over gain.
Dangerously playing on railroad tracks,
not heaing the whistle of the approaching train.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

"underground railroad"

undergound railroal
My hand are sweaty moist and cold
the bread we pack for the trip is
midew and old.
Some of us are young 
and some of us are old
we struggle to the north looking for the that pot of
Down south I was sold.
Some born and some was made
for that gold, What  i heard and and what i' am told
no where to run  but  up
No where to be bold. 
but up.
So we press on
looking for a resting place
runing from the slave master face..
Some people  help
and pep
to be free 
when I dream and I slept

Nightmare of the slave master wip
I wept.

Its cold the water as I step
we held hands as we felt 
The chill of the water.
people geting sick
as creep through night.
people who hid us help fight

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Demise Of the Pennsylvania Railroad Depot

I see by the news that they may level a bit of Americana.
Alas, 'tis that old icon, the railroad depot in Richmond, Indiana.
I have many fond and not so fond memories of that old place.
Unless some good soul rescues it, 'twill disappear without a trace!

It has graced the "Hoosier Bowery District" since nineteen aught two.
'Twas designed in the neo-classical style when readied for its debut.
Many sad and happy occasions were witnessed within its walls.
'Tis sad that it might be demolished by inexorable wrecking balls!

'Twas there that I sadly saw my eldest brothers off to war.
'Twas there that I happily welcomed them home to fight no more.
Alas, it also happened that too many next-of-kin so very often,
Bore the grief of receiving their hero there in a flag-draped coffin.

'Twas there that I boarded a train to begin my military service.
That was my first train ride for this country boy and I was nervous!
So nervous that Recruit Reed and I boarded the wrong train, I fear!
Such an ignominious beginning to an otherwise gratifying career!

'Twas from there that our little girls rode their very first train,
To New Jersey and then on to Europe on a big jet plane!
As I reminisce, I recall so many memories both good and bad,
But to raze that old landmark would truly make me sad!

Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
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